Topical History

History of Kayaking

Kayaks were designed by the indigenous tribes living near the arctic circle. They fashioned their crafts from the only materials available to them. Whale and seal bones, driftwood, and animal skins were melded into very capable craft over thousands of years. The first kayaks where believed to have been invented about four thousand years ago. Some kayaks were solo hunting craft while others ranging to 30 feet or more with multiple cockpit openings were made for transporting goods and people on rivers , lakes, the Arctic Ocean and North Seas. The paddlers were literally sewn into their "hunter's boat", the meaning of the word kayak , by means of a paddling jacket sewn directly to the deck. The paddler slipped into the jacket and closed it tight to keep out the frigid water. This allowed the Eskimo roll technique of righting the craft while keeping the paddler safe from water so frigid that few could swim in water much too cold for prolonged survival.